Sunday, May 1, 2022

Why We Do What We Do....

Sometimes people must wonder, "Why would you sell your house and everything in it and go traipsing across the country in the confines of a an RV?" We have a lot of reasons. Eldo loves traveling. He loves to research and plan our trips, although not as far out as we have to do now. Sparky also loves traveling and seeing new parts of the country. Our families are spread all over the US. We see them more now than we did before. We love seeing our country in new and different ways each time we cross it and we love having our home with us wherever we land vs. staying in hotels and sleeping in strange beds every night. Some people keep their homes as a home base, others like us, sell it and take off for new adventures. 

We love meeting wonderful people. It's not difficult to make new friends RVing, and believe it or not, you DO see them again. RVers are especially open to getting to know you if you want to reach out and chat.  They are also more than willing to help you if you are having any kind of problems while on the road. They come over and offer to help, they don't wait for you to ask. They loan you tools. They share resources. We compare notes about where to stay and where NOT to stay. We met two wonderful couples while at Twin Mills, and our paths are going to cross again in the near future.

ornamental pear
Sparky loves learning about the names of plants, animals and the unique parts of wherever we travel. When we get somewhere, and she starts hiking or biking and taking photos, she is always researching and learning new things about the animals, the names of the flowers, the kitschy roadside attractions and the local points of interest. She really loves exercising her mind that way. This lifestyle is great for someone with a short attention span, like Sparky! It keeps her mind engaged and out of trouble. (Well-l-l-l-l, I don't know about THAT, laughs Eldo. It depends on what craft stores are in the area!) Funny you should mention that Eldy!

By the way, in Shipshewanna, (9.6 miles) there is a Bernina sewing center, a GREAT one level department store called Yoders, all in the same building, Yoder's Meat Market down the street, the Pumpkinvine trailhead on Depot Street and a beautiful fabric store in the Davis Mercantile, the newest building in downtown Shipshewanna, called Lolly's. (And Sparky can tell you the entire inventory of that store! adds E.) Haha, not really. How about some homemade pretzels at JoJo's Pretzels, watch them make them while you eat! Don't forget Rise and Roll Bakery,  for THE best donuts in the area, Bontrager's Surplus in White Pigeon, MI, for RV odds and ends, and Hilltop Restaurant in Middlebury for great reasonably priced breakfasts, which is 18 miles from Twin Mills RV park and is a beautiful drive along county roads and worth the drive. For grocery shopping, there's a Walmart and a much better store, Meijers in Sturgis, MI, not far at all.

For instance, we are at Twin Mills RV Park in Howe, IN. We've been here many times before, but there is always something new to learn and to see, especially the Amish lifestyle as the whole area is Amish countryside and farming. We've seen a team of ten draft horses pulling a plow headed to the fields. We've seen a huge gathering of over 50 buggies for an Amish wedding reception. Seeing the Amish gather on Sundays at different locations for their worship in their black and white attire, the women in starched white bibs and black bonnets, the men in white shirts, black hats, vests and coats gets Sparky wanting to learn about what an Amish church service is like. When she first saw the buggies, she researched how they are built, how much they cost....little things like that. She loves seeing the barefoot Amish kids play baseball in the schoolyard while she's biking the Pumpkinvine Bike Trail, and that got her thinking what's a normal school day like for an Amish kid? So she might go do some research, or just do the wondering part, haha, Love the school bell on top in the photo below, but have never heard it ring.

Amish phone booth
Seeing the little phone booths in the front yard (Amish cannot have modern conveniences inside their houses), made Sparky wonder, how has the Amish lifestyle changed? Are they still living as a restrictive lifestyle as they used to, or are they changing with the rest of the world? The answer to that is complex, but the Amish are embracing solar panels for energy usage, their clothing has become a little more colorful, and there are other subtle changes occurring. There are different sects of the Amish and different requirements for them
On the Pumpkinvine Trail

We love the countryside drives that we go on, to get from one small town like Howe, to other towns like Middlebury here in Indiana. Spring is a truly beautiful season in Indiana. It's so nice to see tulips, crocus, daffodils, and many many beautiful flowering trees in this area--pears, Eastern redbuds and serviceberry trees at the time we visited. It's peaceful and a refreshing reminder to the soul to take time, slow down, and enjoy life while you can.

Well, it's time to go...We are headed to Eldy's son's house to stay for a few days, see Eldy's granddaughter graduate from college, and then we will return for another week at Twin Mills, then it's off to head to the east coast stopping through Ohio and Pennsylvania to get to Maine. You probably won't hear from us for awhile. Sparky worries about repeating visits and info, so she will try to keep things fresh and new. If there's something to report, we certainly will....

Sunday Amish church gathering

Oh, yes...there is. The darn slide was being balky AGAIN when we pulled it in to head to Twin Mills. It came in part way, then stopped. Eldy had to keep one hand on the switch, and gave it a gentle pull and then it came in the rest of the way. But life is full of blessings, if you recognize them. There was one when we arrived at the park. One of the new couples we met while here were Shane and Denise Shelby. Shane just happens to be a fully trained RV tech! If you ever see him, his company is Coast To Coast RV Repair. We asked him to come and look at our slide, and darned if the slide didn't work perfectly. In and out five or six times, and it was fine. Oh, well. Watch. It will do again somewhere else, we are sure. The bonus was we became friends with them, promised to stay in touch, and had a wonderful night last night playing Euchre with them after YEARS of not having played. We laughed so hard, we had so much fun. See what we mean about making friends on the road? We feel like we've known them a long time, they were that wonderful! Also a shout out to Rosie and Mike Bottai, who were here for a shorter amount of time, we had a short, but wonderful visit with them, too!

So we will be busy with family next week, back to Twin Mills and the Pumpkinvine Trail for Sparky, then we will see you down the road. Thanks for reading, and bye for now.....Eldy (aka Eldo) and Jeannie (aka Sparky)


  1. Thank you for sharing your travels, you two are amazing

  2. Loved this post. Always enjoyed this area of the country. Your pics and descriptions are beautiful. Thank you!